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Tom Albanese Says Governments Hindering Mining

The Chief of Rio Tinto Tom Albanese is unhappy at the government interference in the development of new projects around the world. He said that it was the curse of resource nationalism that prevented mining firms from meeting the strong global demand for commodities. He was speaking at a conference in Hong Kong when he said that Rio Tinto had to do a better job of handling deals with government officials.

Resource nationalism is what the Youth League of the African National Congress has been calling for. However the seizure of all mines and farms in South Africa as envisioned by the ANC youth wing leader Julius Malema is hardly the right answer. South Africa is not the only country on the continent where Rio Tinto is having trouble. The second largest mining company in the world also had issues over rights to the Simandou iron ore concession in Guinea.

With the rising price of copper after the economic crisis ended most mining companies are making strong profits. Rio Tinto hopes to translate the profits into quality assets with a few select takeovers as per Tom Albanese.

He said that they would limit mergers and acquisitions to small and intermediate size, which they would be define as single billion category. The latest of Rio Tinto’s takeover targets is Riversdale Mining and the deal will be worth $3.9 billion. This deal would be the first acquisition Rio made after it paid $38.1 billion for Alcan, the Canadian company.

Tom Albanese also spoke about contributing to the rebuilding of Japan as he said that this would boost demand for raw materials. He said by nature reconstruction was materials and metals intensive. He added that a new demand component from the earthquake and tsunami reconstruction may kick in in around 2013.

Joel Scanlon

Written by

Joel Scanlon

Joel emigrated to Australia in 1995 and worked for five years in the mining industry as an exploration geotechnician, using GIS mapping and CAD software. Upon moving to the North Coast of NSW, Australia Joel worked as a graphic designer for a leading consultancy firm. After that, he ran a successful business providing web services to businesses along the eastern seaboard of Australia. During this time, he developed and launched News-Medical.Net. Joel has been working with AZoNetwork since the company was founded in 2000.

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